"Encanto" by Glen Allen.
Most of my art education was whittled down to endless flash cards for college exams. There was a time when I could recite the title, artist, medium and year of the majority of the artworks pictured in Janson's History of Art.
Screw the memorization - my favorite part of those exams was the unknown slides.
Here's how it worked: the professor would include 5-10 slides of works students had not studied in class or in the text book as exam questions. Based on visual clues alone, we had to guess and justify, in essay format, which artist was responsible for the work, at what point in the career they created it, etc. etc.
Everyone hated this. But I loved it. Getting the answers right made me feel like a total badass. Because, yes, I'm a pathetic nerd.
By Glen Allen
(Mr. Allen, I swear to God, I saw some of your paintings about two years ago at Homme Lounge. Am I right? Please email me [firstname.lastname@example.org] because I want to feel that same thrill I did in college when I nailed those unknown slides. If I'm wrong...FAIL!)
Allen has an irresistible playful approach to painting. Many of his works are cartoonish collages with layers of imagery creating a visual kaleidescope of energetic shapes, colors and creatures mingling. As a resident artist at The Chocolate Factory, he's collaborated with neighboring artist Collin Chillag, who also recently showed at Pravus.
And while Allen is an artist certainly worth attention, I have to mention his fellow exhibiting artist at Pravus, Ben Beshaw. I don't know much about Beshaw, but anyone responsible for this...
By Ben Beshaw
...must have a beautiful soul.
I've gotta see more.
-- Lilia Menconi
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Ben Beshaw's "Small Paintings" and Glen Allen's "New Works" will be up for the month of January at Pravus Gallery, 501 E. Roosevelt St. in Phoenix. Opening reception is Friday, January 2nd from 6-10 p.m. Call 602-363-2552 or visit www.pravusgallery.com.